This is a new hope of appeasement in the standoff between China and the United States. Chinese and American negotiators will meet "early October" for a 13th round of trade talks in Washington, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said Thursday.

The talks, which were originally scheduled to take place this month, will be held after the imposition on 1 September of further reciprocal customs surcharges. The last negotiation session is at the end of July in Shanghai.

China's chief negotiator, Liu He, met on Thursday morning (Beijing time) with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, the ministry said in a brief statement.

Beijing complaint to the WTO

In Washington, a spokesman for the Office of the Trade Representative (USTR) said Lighthizer and Mnuchin had agreed with Liu He to hold ministerial-level trade meetings in Washington "in the coming weeks." Lower-level work meetings will be held in mid-September to "set the stage for significant progress," added Jeff Emerson.

China and the United States have been engaged for more than a year in a trade showdown that has resulted in the reciprocal imposition of punitive tariffs on more than $ 360 billion in annual trade.

>> To read: United States vs. China: from trade conflict to economic war?

New surcharges on billions of dollars worth of Chinese products also came into effect on Sunday in the United States. China responded by increasing tariffs on $ 75 billion worth of US goods.

Beijing also announced this week that it has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) in response to the entry into force of new US tariffs.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday sent a warning to China, warning on Twitter that it would be more "hard" in trade negotiations if they lasted until his second term.

With Reuters and AFP